...you know, as opposed to safety? Kinda interesting story; pre-season speculation from 4 years ago is difficult to recall, at best. So, I'm not sure if I totally remember people thinking he'd be a linebacker. Wasn't Belichick attempting to do the same thing with Tank Williams (same year? year before?)? Anyway, I'm guessing that this idea of safeties-at-LB is related to the "star" and "money" positions that Belichick came up with back in CLE w/ Nick Saban; highlighted below: Alabama defense 101: nickel = Star, dime = Money, DBs = LBs | al.com The extra defensive back in the nickel is called the ‚ÄúStar.‚ÄĚ The sixth DB in the dime plays the ‚ÄúMoney‚ÄĚ position. The terms for these important positions originated during Saban‚Äôs days as the defensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns and coach Bill Belichick, from 1991-94. ‚ÄúIn the old days, I called the fifth defensive back nickel back, and we never really played six defensive backs,‚ÄĚ he said. The middle linebacker (Mike) and the weak inside linebacker (Will) stayed in the game, and a defensive back replaced the strong outside linebacker (Sam). ‚ÄúWell, when I went to Cleveland, everything that Bill Belichick does has some purpose, from what you call blitz to what you call fire-zone front,‚ÄĚ Saban said. ‚ÄúThe Star really is the Sam, so he wanted an s-word for that position. When you put six guys in the game, whether it's a sub linebacker or a sixth defensive back, we had nickel, dime, dollar. Different money terms." The sixth defensive back takes the place of the weak inside linebacker.